I’m behind on blogging… it’s funny how that happens when you have an insta-toddler and have to re-remember how to parents one of these lovely creatures. But she is currently napping and I have a moment to catch up, so here we go…
Tuesday morning, we met our guide in the lobby at 8:30 to go to the registration office where you become legal guardians of your child. We met the notary in the same room where we had Family Day the day before. The notary checked all of our paperwork, and then said a few words, basically thanking us for adopting these children, wishing us well and encouraging us to take good care of them. Then he said “you are now legally their parents”. To say that was lovely to hear is an understatement. We feel so lucky to be Jia’s parents and now it’s now it’s official not only in our hearts, but on paper too.
Funny side story: most families who adopt their children in Zhengzhou take a picture in front of this red wall with Chinese writing on it, and we were no exception in wanting our pictures there. It seemed kind of momentous and I’d been waiting for a long time to get to stand there. So all the families in our travel group took their photos and we all felt very pleased with ourselves…. Then our guide said “do you know what that says?”. We all said no, of course, and she said “it says ‘Marriage Bureau…. So any Chinese person will wonder why you got married when you were adopting your child'”. We all found that highly amusing. It doesn’t change the symbolism for me, but it will make me laugh every time I see it.
From there, we went to notary office, which was 6 steep flights up an old government building. We sat around in a conference room for a while (we snagged the seats right in front of the AC… so nice!) and then we went to another room and had our picture taken. Then back down the stairs and back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out, going for walks, playing in the playroom, and chilling. Josh went to Wal-Mart and got stuck in a torrential downpour on the way back.
Wednesday was the day that we went to apply for Jia’s passport. For most families, you have to go to your child’s home city to apply, and in Jia’s case, her home city, Nanyang, was 3.5 hours away by van. As I mentioned to some of you on Facebook, they don’t really do car seats here, and kid are pretty much free to climb around their vehicles at will, I guess? I don’t really know. But I had chosen not to bring a car seat because there isn’t a reliable way to install them safely, so we were pretty much winging it. In the end, the less that is said about that day, the better. It was HARD. Jia didn’t like sitting in a lap/being held the whole time, there were major tantrums, and lots of tears, the latter both hers and mine. But in the end, we survived it, and sometimes that’s all you can say. I also think that it helped us get over the hump of Jia’s intense temper tantrums because when you have 85904904367340 of them in a day and your parents don’t give in on the big issues, that usually means they’re serious. So it seems like her tantrums since then have been shorter and less severe, which is nice. I feel like we fought the battles that will eventually win the war, so to speak.
Also, yesterday I successfully used a squatty potty. I will let you look up with a squatty potty is on your own because I DID NOT take a picture. I do have some boundaries. I debated about talking about it, but it is a source of great pride for me and I feel like I’ve accomplished some international travel bucket list item, so whatever, man. My thanks to my friend Gretchen for her tutorial on squatty potty usage.
Today we have a free day, which we desperately needed, so we had a leisurely morning, went to Wal-Mart and to lunch and now we’re chilling in the room. I see swimming and playroom in our futures.
As far as how we’re doing over all, I think that we’ve all had our moments where we’re so glad to be here, and some where we can’t wait to go home. I miss fresh fruits and veggies and water out of the tap. I miss idly eavesdropping on people at the next table over. I miss my house because living in a hotel gets old after a while. I really miss Eden and my friends and my family, although that’s been made easier by Facebook and WeChat, and we’ve gotten to talk to Eden every day, sometimes twice. I think I am just ready to go home and start my life again, just life + Jia. We have one more day in Zhengzhou and then we fly to Guangzhou on Saturday, to start our last leg of the trip there. We’ll be there for 6.5 days and then we head HOME. We are SO, SO ready. I can’t wait to eat a salad.
But on the other hand, we, and especially Jia, are leaving a lot behind too, and I think it’s really important that we don’t forget that. We have all gained so much in the process, but she is losing a tremendous amount too, and leaving her home country will be bittersweet.
Keep the comments and posts coming, we have been so encouraged by them and it helps the homesickness. Thanks as always for following along on this crazy trip. Love you guys!